I first discovered the Moleskin Wine Journal while perusing my local Barnes & Nobles, however, I didn’t buy it then because of two reasons. First, this was the week before Christmas and the lines were crazy long. Second, it was $20 and I was SURE that I could find a better deal on Amazon. It’s a good thing I waited. Not only did I skip the insane Christmas line but I also was able to score an amazing deal on this Moleskine Journal on Amazon ($13).
Don’t get me wrong, my knowledge of vino is no were near that of a sommelier or wine steward. I’m your occasional wine drinker. And that’s why I thought that this was perfect gift for me. I’ve always wanted to improve my knowledge of wine, develop a better nose and be able to know what types of wines should be paired with certain types of foods.
So I declare 2011 the year of the wine. If 2010 was about exploring different types of loose leaf tea and brewing methods then 2011 will be about exploring the world of wine. This should be a fun year and one that I plan to share with you (my notes that is).
Buy the Moleskine Passions Wine Journal from Amazon for $13.
The Baggy Winecoat by designer Jakob Wagner is just what you need if you would like to put elegance and style into your Bag-in-Box wines. Simply take the bag our of your box wine and place it into the stylish Baggy Winecoat. Skip the six-pack of beer and redefine the tailgate party by bringing this elegant and handy accessory!
“Baggy Winecoat gives the popular Bag in Box wines a casual but stylish look! Simply take the wine bag out of the box, place it in the Baggy Wine Coat and close the flexible top. A rubber bottom makes sure the Baggy Winecoat do not tip over; neither on the dinner table, nor on the picnic. If you want to carry your wine with you, just grab the handle and go!”
By the Baggy Winecoat by Jakob Wagner from the Scandinavian Design Center for $58.19.
With the honor of being chosen the best man, comes the duty of giving a good wedding day toast. This is no easy task. Standing before your closest friends and family members to give a toast can be daunting, intimidating and down right nerve-wracking. Here are a few tips that you can use the next time you are called on to give your next toast.
1. Don’t Drink Beforehand. This might be difficult for a few of you, especially at festive occasions like a wedding party. However, the toast is your nod of appreciation for being selected the best man. The least you can do is be as coherent as humanely possible. This means lay off the booze. Syllables will flow and you’ll be able to articulate your words better than you would under the influence.
2. Prepare, Practice and Rehearse. This means have your toast written out. Practice saying the toast for at least a few days prior to the wedding. Once you think you’ve got it down, practice it in front of another person. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Have a copy of your toast on hand with you on the wedding day … just in case.
3. Emphasize Key Parts. Emphasize as in be sure to slow down or speed up your toast accordingly. Make eye contact with the groom, bride and audience accordingly. If you’re going to tell a funny story about the groom, be sure to give the audience time to digest it and then laugh a little. Embarrassing moments are best left avoided. If you’re going to tell a heartfelt story, then you might want to slow down the speed of your speech a bit. Know the key parts of your toast and emphasize those parts.
4. Individualize The Audience. People usually are afraid when they have to speak in front of a large crowd. To minimize this anxiety, pick out a single person and devote 10 seconds of eye contact time during your speech to that one person and then move on to another person. Keep rotating. Individualize your audience. You’ll forget you’re speaking in front of a large crowd.
5. Keep It Brief and Concise. No one likes to sit through a long winded speech. Keep your toast brief and concise. A best man/maid of honor speech should take you no longer than 3-4 minutes max. If you’re not the best man/maid of honor then keep your toast at a minute max.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to use these tips the next time you’re asked to give a toast. Remember, it’s an honor to give a toast. A good toast will always leave a positive and lasting impression on those that you are toasting.
What tips do you have when it comes to giving a toast? Any memorable experiences?
Wine is a complicated drink, we know this and that is why at Call Me Thirsty we have the Wine 101 Series! Our aim is rid the confusion that comes with wine so that we can enjoy this wonderful drink without being totally confused by it. In this Wine 101 post I hope to demystify a few things about wine bottles. To do this I’ve created a little graphic for you all to enjoy, that includes six of the major bottles shapes that wine comes packaged in. Intertwined in the graphic you’ll find some fun facts about the bottles.
Click on the graphic and take a closer look at it!
German wine bottles tend to be narrow and tall. You’ll also find that Rhine, Mosel, and Alsace wines are packaged in these narrow and tall bottles that have little or no punt (see below for a description of what a punt is). If you’re picking up a Riesling, chances are that it is packed in this bottle type. This type of bottle is also known as having a Hock shape.
Champagne bottles must have thick walls to withstand the pressure of the carbon dioxide bubbles inside of it. These bottles are typically described as having sloping shoulders. Champagne bottles typically have a very pronounced punt.
Red and White Burgundy bottles tend to have a tall shape with sloping shoulders. You’ll find Pinot Noir and Chardonay packaged in this bottle type. This bottle has a small punt and thicks walls to help contain the pressure of these wines.
Sherry, Port and Bordeaux bottles feature straight sides and high shoulders. Red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec feature this bottle shape, as do white wines like Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. These bottles have a very pronounced punt. The Bordeaux type bottles has also been called a Claret and Souterne.
Chianti bottles are reserved for the red Italian wine produced in Tuscany. These bottles feature a squat bottle that is usually enclosed in a straw basket.
The graphic above shows some of the most popular wine bottle sizes. A standard bottle of wine contains 750 mL (or 0.75 cL).
On The Ladder:
Quarter ( aka Piccolo) = 0.188 Liter (smallest)
Half = 0.375 Liter
Full = 0.75 Liter
Magnum = 1.5 Liter
On The Floor:
Jeroboam = 3 Liter
Methuselah = 6 Liter
Salmanazar = 9 Liter
Balthazar = 12 Liter (largest)
There even more bottle sizes but the above are the most common and the most important for you to know.
Wine Bottle Colors
Dark Green: These bottle are said to be able to protect the wine from sunlight. You’ll usually find red wine packed in dark green bottles.
Light Green: Dry white wines are often kept in light green bottles.
Brown: Wine produced in Mosel (regions in France, Luxembourg, and Germany) and Alsace (Alsace region in France) often come packaged in brown bottles.
Clear: These bottles have generally been reserved for sweet whites but have also come to be used for whites in general.
Sometimes wineries use non-traditional colors to individualize their wine. An often used non-traditional color is blue.
What’s a Punt?
A punt is the little dimple or “kick-up” that you’ll find at the bottom of the wine bottle. Historically, the punt originated from the free blowing technique used to make the wine bottles. The punt also aids in preventing the bottle from tipping over when it is standing up and consolidates the collection of sediment at the bottom of the bottle.
OK, so functionally, this wine cabinet might not be any better than other wine cabinets on the market, but (and this is a big but) it looks so damn cool. The padlock adds a nice touch, but again, it won’t prevent an eager thief from reaching in between the bars!
- Built of hand-welded and fabricated iron
- Features a rustic finish
- Approx. 40 lbs.
- Dimensions: 37-1/2″W x 34″D x 51-1/2″H
Buy the Metal Wine Cage from Restoration Hardware for $199.
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